Live for Molokai: A Profile of Bobby Ocampo

Bobby Ocampo walks into The Dispatch office, a fine glint of sweat on his shaved heat from walking around town all day in the blazing sun while wearing a sweatshirt and dress pants. He’s carrying a tripod and camera bag and simply asks “howzit?” Bobby has come to talk story with me for a new segment of the paper – partially inspired by him – which is a series of profiles about people on Molokai whose lives are affected by what is happening in the news.

I tell Bobby to come in and sit down but he suggests we sit outside to enjoy the Molokai weather. Bobby produces segments for Akaku television on Molokai, and most of his shows involve La`au Point. I ask him to tell me about his work, and his general mana`o of Molokai:

“I used to be a DJ- I did the karaoke show at Paddlers’- but I quit to be more true to Molokai. When the developers wanted to take La`au away from us, it changed me, you know? It made me think about where I came from, what line, and made me respect my kapuna. Development is disrespectful to the `aina of La`au, and it could be a disaster for Molokai keiki. People here- they know what’s pono for Molokai, we don’t need to be told by anyone else.

“I thank Akua” Bobby points skyward and looks up with genuine wonder, “for my blessings today. La`au made everybody’s priorities clear, and made me want to live better, eat better and walk more, and do what I could to defend Molokai.”

As well as shows he has produced for Akaku, Bobby has performed interviews with people in Kaunakakai over who their favorite person on Molokai is, and has made numerous pilgrimages to La`au Point all in an effort to better understand the island he loves.


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